Karla’s Top Ten Things To Do With Kids in Phoenix Part 3
This is the third installment in a Five Part Serial regarding fun things to do with kids in Phoenix by Phoenix.org staff writer Karla Lant.
Part III: City Kids on the Farm and in the Wild, Wild West
Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the United States, but don’t let that fool you. We are still the Wild West and the center of a state that continues to be focused on agriculture. Give your little urbanites a taste of these aspects of our history and culture!
This Queen Creek family farm started years ago and is still family run. Though it’s a bit of a hike for most of us, it’s definitely worth the trip. The country store and bakery at the farm sells seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as baked goods and other treats like homemade fudge. It also offers lunch items Thursday through Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm and breakfast on weekend mornings. Your children will learn about growing seasons and how we get the freshest produce to our tables here, and the best part of the trip is spent in the “U Pick” garden.
The Schnepf Farms Organic “U Pick” Garden allows you and your kids to grab a basket from the country store and pick whatever is in season yourself. The cost to take home the fruits of your labor is only $1.50 a pound, and your kids will never look at food the same way again! While you’re there, take the farm tour for a better understanding of farming and food.
October is the best time of year to visit Schnepf Farms because that is when the entire farm is open to the public. At that time there are carnival rides, miniature golf, a hayride, a petting zoo, a gravity roller coaster and a train ride in addition to the garden and farm tour. There is also a pumpkin patch, and the pig races are not to be missed! If you stay until evening you’ll also love the bonfire and marshmallow roast. Not included in the admission price but well worth the small extra charges are crafts like pumpkin painting and candle making. Through December you’ll also see hot chocolate, deer feeding and, of course, Santa.
You’ll love your time on the farm!
(Special events like birthday parties, gourmet dinners in their orchard and even large weddings can be arranged privately.)
Yippy-ki-ay, pardners! Whether you’re a natural-born Westerner or just passing through, you won’t want to miss taking your kids to see the old Western town at Rawhide. It’s a replica of an old western town complete with saloons, horses and cowboys, and there’s enough here to keep your children busy over the course of a very long day—some of it unique to Rawhide.
Your children can experience the rowdy shenanigans of the Six Gun Theater and Rawhide Roughriders who present everything from gun fights in the dirt streets to real-seeming explosions and stunt fighting. Also not to be missed is the stunt shooting and other gunplay displays. If your child is older he can test his luck on the mechanical bull and the rock climbing wall. Your whole family can pan for (fool’s) gold at Rawhide—sorry, no real gold.
Burro rides, a desert train ride and stagecoach ride are some of the ways your little ones can get around in this old Western town; you can also head to the corral for horseback riding. And what child can pass up the mischief of the “Arrest A Guest” service? For only $10 your child can issue a warrant for the arrest of, say, your spouse, which will trigger an arrest and behind bars photo opportunity. And speaking of photo opportunities, you can get “old timey” Western photos taken here for a memorable souvenir. If you get hungry go get Western grub at the restaurant, or even from an open air food stand (and if you’re silly enough to wear a necktie here, you’re safe—no one will cut off your tie like they do at Pinnacle Peak).
Summertime brings some specials to Rawhide, including free meals for kids in the restaurant with paid entrees for adults and Saturday night cookouts. Also keep an eye out for special events at Rawhide around Halloween, July Fourth and the holiday season.